The Malta Independent 23 January 2020, Thursday

Force of reason

Godfrey Farrugia Tuesday, 20 August 2019, 12:03 Last update: about 5 months ago

For the past six years, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has been playing at being Malta’s knight in shining armour, who has our country’s good at heart.

I was one of those who believed, worked for and built up credibility so that the Malta Tagħna Lkoll concept could take off. Everybody heard about it, and everybody knows just how much the significance of this call was blown away in the wind, less than a year after Muscat’s government took office.

Today, we have a government with an unprecedented absolute majority, boasting about the economic boom, the surplus, and full employment. In my opinion, this behaviour is nothing more than Neo-Liberal politics, focused only on turnover, which has changed everything and everybody into numbers and statistics interpreted in such a way that doesn’t recognise the real capital of our country and the real feel-good feeling that every family should have.

We’re scraping the bottom. So much so that we’ve now started arguing in favour of having plants and against trees and against everything that exists in the collective memory of so many of us.

It is because of this mentality that we are losing the force of reason and have become an amoral society. We have ended up poorer in thought, and to make matters worse, although we know that the bad is being portrayed as good, we still close our eyes, afraid of expressing our opinions. This is a changed society, manipulated into a poorer one, albeit richer in numbers. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) does not a man make. It can never guarantee a better life, more so when the model used is one based on development.

In my opinion, it is Muscat’s leadership itself that is poor. This poverty is his doing: mental poverty, poverty of reason, and lack of serenity, controlled by a compromised media that does not broadcast impartially.

This is a government with a greed for power because it has things to hide while also helping to destroy the Nationalist Party in Opposition. This is precisely the scenario where governance is employed with strategy, cautiously and meticulously. As for the rest, we all know what the lack of good governance in various other sectors brings.

This government was elected on its call to fix the wrong doings, but this did not happen. Not only, our country has lost its soul.

On Sunday 11th was the first time after a long time that the word “poor” was uttered by Muscat. Usually, his weekend sermons give him the appearance of Mr Positive standing high on a pedestal. However, it appears that this time Muscat has realised, or has been told, that the polls are showing that he’d better change his tune because otherwise he’s going to appear cut off from the people.

So we’ve ended up kneading “poverty” into the reality that we have to “fight” together. I note the plural in his speech. It’s usually what he, as Prime Minister, is going to do, and what he wants to see in Malta, and so on. So I ask: Whose fault is it that material poverty, social poverty and intellectual poverty exist around us?

One should also note that when it suits him, Joseph Muscat behaves as if he’s more of a super Liberal Prime Minister than Milton Friedman who had won the Nobel Prize in 1976, and when it suits him, he plays the part of a bigger socialist than Dom Mintoff. What is certain is that he has placed himself at the centre of the economy and made it his own, and has encouraged the call of the seventies: “We’re invincible with …. as leader” and that he is ‘invictus’. This bears scrutiny.

This is Joseph Muscat’s labour government. The social soul that the Malta Labour Party was famous for has been set aside and nowadays he’s telling us that we have to fight all sorts of poverty ourselves, when the responsibility falls on the government.

We’ve ended up with the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. The rich are reigning because the GDP is still growing.

Remember that even this era of economic boom will end. Nothing is infinite and it is necessary to put aside some money for rainy days.

This is a country sickened by mediocrity and up to now it appears that there isn’t a choice between Joseph Muscat’s Labour Party and Adrian Delia’s Nationalist Party to save this country.

I am convinced that not everybody has swallowed the bait and I will keep hoping and working for what is right, because my country is truly in my heart.

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